I was a lucky child in that my parents - more my father than my mother - often talked to me as if I were an adult who didn't know some things yet but had interests. That's how I talked with my niece, and we are still close, with her now an adult. In other words, my parents were not very corrective, and I got their expectations, not particularly tough ones, looking back (but then I was a goody goody, sort of scared of the nuns and sort of naturally obedient, which I've gotten over as an adult). I don't think anyone likes being talked down to or scolded, much less scolded sharply, meanly, or hit, and punishment if given should be given wisely. If you're sensitive, scolding leaves you lonely, especially if you have a sibling who tends to do things right in the eyes of a parent, over and over and over and over. Resentment builds naturally. So I agree with Sozobe about knowing the boys' approximate ages, and agree with Punkey about having the child feel both liked and loved. He may be the more intense and interesting child (not to go on comparing children to each other) - you might grow to care.
I've never taken parenting classes but I've heard they can be helpful - maybe others here know more about those, or other groups where you could find some help.
Is there any humor among you, that you can share?